The Last Day of April

A Happy Birthday celebration — a week or so early. A poorly written sonnet:

Tis the last of April, just beyond reach

is May the tenth the date of your birth

it’s said by some, it may have been breach

No matter the details, my life gained great worth

That night that we met, our story yet untold,

unknown at the time how beautiful our life;

no one but the Great One could have foretold,

the thrill in my heart when you became my wife

Here surrounded by loving and caring siblings

To celebrate another year past with great glee

I wrote this sad poem, earnest and small scribblings

with the deepest love. I hope you agree

Our life together is amazing as your mom would say

I think so too, so, Happy Birthday!

– Paul

Carpe Diem


There is absolutely nothing that goes fast in our life anymore. Do I miss it? My immediate reaction is NOT.

Max throwing his fast ball

I like how the young people emphasize comments by using ALL CAPS. That enables their fast comments about most anything that strikes them.

FAST however is gone from our life with Parkinson. Planning and thoughtfulness and SLOW are the current buzz words in our life.

I have noticed as I get older (I am Old) and drive my wife with PD to various exercise or other social activities that many drivers – not necessarily young drivers – move through traffic fast. What is their hurry?

Even when I am feeling as though I am late for something, I ponder what will be the result if I am later than I expected to the destination – mass, restaurant, exercise, whatever. The end result is similar to removing one’s arm from a bucket of water.

Nothing. Maybe a couple drips on the floor.

Carpe Diem – FAST

I Have to get the Article Written

With that thought she got up at 1:30-ish in the early morning. It has come to me that when her dreams become real, I have to just go with the flow. I tell myself that our experience has shown that this episode will last about two hours, so be patient and helpful during that time. Some might to this as a prayer but I think of it as description of what I need to do to help her get through this nuanced dream she is experiencing right now. (And Carpe The Damn Early Morning Diem. 🙂 ) I suggested that she should have something to eat and she would be more alert, her mind would work better while she was writing the article. She agreed with that and asked what we had.

I suggested cereal with a banana cut up on top and some o.j. She took her vitamins. Later after she decided a piece of coffee cake from yesterday morning would be good also, we discussed how she could get started. She looked at the two-day old paper on the kitchen table for I bit. Maybe she was thinking about what to write? She did not tell me.

I suggested we watch TV for a bit while her thoughts gelled. We watched a couple TV shows that were previously recorded. After a few minutes as was our previous experience she became tired again and we returned to bed at 3 am.

The alarm went off at 7 am and I fetched her morning meds and we returned to bed for a little longer as we usually do. Twenty to thirty minutes is usually enough for her to get moving. I fell asleep a little more soundly than ordinary.

I woke up and realized I could not hear her. I got up and put some clothes on. I searched the condo and could not find her anywhere inside. The front door was unlocked. This morning when she got up, she left the house.

Did the rapture happen? It scared me. It is my greatest fear, not the rapture, the fact that she had wandered off looking for something she could only see in her mind. Fortunately she was just outside the front door to our building and it was not raining.

Later as she was laying down to rest she told me, she was looking for anyone awake. She was scared that no one was here. She had decided to go look in the next building for anyone. She asked me if that woman who runs things here was around – whoever that may be. I left, “What are you thinking about?”, unsaid and suggested we go out and get some sun. Take a walk. Maybe we could have lunch.

I felt bad that I fell asleep again.

Carpe Diem.

Always Learning

One can always learn new things if you open your heart to the experience.

Recently we met with a dementia specialist. It was not intended on my part to be one on one but as it turned out it was. She had several key points to deescalate frustration and anger. Like many things that happen these days with Cheryl and me, I often forget which people and services I have investigated before. Theresa Youngstrom is a nurse and a dementia specialist. In a previous post I quoted these points from her website.

From Theresa’s website;

  • Always approach from the front.
  • Watch your body language and tone in addition to the words you use.
  • Smile and wait until they acknowledge your presence before touching them.
  • Validate their point when they are upset even if they are wrong.
  • Say you are sorry at the first sign of their frustration to keep situations at a minimum.

After we talked for a bit the other day, I realized that I had already learned a lot from her about deescalation of frustrating and angry situations.

I am sure there is more to learn.

Carpe Diem.

Kardia Mobile

This company wants me to buy a device that pretty much tells me I am not dead yet. I already know that. I run to the store and run to the library and run to the doctor fairly often. I am pretty sure I am still running okay and not dead.

Many people, probably most, spend a great deal of time running here and there. It is ingrained in us. We chide each other if we are not active. But instead of running what if we took a deep breath and stopped to look around at God’s wonder of Spring and the renewal of life. It happens every year. It is truly amazing.

Breathe and notice the world. Run for exercise and health but do it outside where He can show you His wonder.

Run: Carpe Diem.

A Manual for Life

Wouldn’t it be great if there is a manual for living? Wouldn’t it be great if there is a book that tells one how to do everything. Wouldn’t it be great if there is book that tells one what to do different when something goes wrong? It would be like an appliance troubleshooting page in the operator manual.

But life is not like that. It would be great if it was but it is not. I am ecstatic when I find one of these charts because any problem I have is rarely on the chart.

In my working career I occasionally helped to create charts like these for industrial machinery but there is no such manual or chart for life. There are however lots of pious platitudes. Social media platforms are full of them.

This last one with the turtle has become my mantra of a sort. Forward is forward. Progress is progress. With chronic degenerative disease one can maintain hope for a cure, that being said, it can be more useful to accept the situation and play the hand that was dealt to you. (My very own platitude.) Forward is forward.

Carpe Diem.

The Goat is Right

Stephan T. Patsis is a favorite cartoonist. His signature work, “Pearls Before Swine” is the cartoon in the comic section of the local newspaper that I read first when my wife hands me the funnies and says, “There are some funny funnies today.”

You have to choose to be happy. The goat who is somewhat intellectual and thought provoking tells rat. An absolutely true statement from a smart goat. One does choose to be happy and no one else can make that choice for you.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy. – Desiderata by Max Hermann

Choose to be happy.

Carpe Diem.

Why don’t you like me? — Standing up to Parkinson’s

The title of this blog post is the name of the poem posted in a discussion group. Zella wrote earlier this week… “I thought my husbands poem might be suitable for Parkinson’s Awareness Day!” To which LAJ responded… “I thought it was going to be about a caregiver who thought their husband didn’t like them anymore, […]

Why don’t you like me? — Standing up to Parkinson’s

As Sue thought, I thought this was going to be about the care giver. It is not. It broke my heart. I have watched Cheryl struggle with opening many things. And I heard Parkyboy talking in the background.

Carpe Diem.

Let There Be PIE

Mavis is here building the apple pie – as I wrote on Friday. This is the end result. We took it to Anna’s house for Easter dinner. The pie dish is now in the dishwasher. All is well.

Cheryl told me today that we should get a deep dish pie pan for Mavis for her birthday.

This particular pan came from my mother’s house, so, it has some history. It also has a recipe for quiche that I think I want to try. Quiche is pie with a different flavor, savory rather than sweet.

Pardon the apple pie shrapnel

Quiche Lorraine: 1 C. shredded Swiss cheese, 1/2 lb. bacon fried and crumbled (I interpreted 1/2 16 as 1/2 lb.), 2 C. half and half or milk, 4 eggs, 1/8 teaspoon red or white pepper, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/3 C. minced onion, 1/4 tsp. sugar. Preheat the oven to 425° F and prep pastry. Sprinkle cheese, bacon and onion in pie plate. Beat eggs & blend in the remaining ingredients. Pour cream and egg mixture into the dish. Bake for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 300° F, bake 25 to 30 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean. Let stand for ten minutes before serving in wedges.

Let there be pie!

Carpe Diem.